Human Services

Adam's House

Helping Hearts Heal

aka Adam's House

Shelton, CT

Mission

Adam's House provides grief support to children, ages 5-18 years of age, and their families who are struggling to cope with the death of a loved one. Adam's House is free-standing, nonprofit grief center in Shelton, CT. Our "Helping Hearts Heal" program is an 8-week program designed to provide support, strength and hope to grieving families in Connecticut at no-cost. Adam's House believes no family should suffer in silence and no child should ever grieve alone. We also are dedicated to becoming a valuable community resource for grief and loss support.

Ruling Year

2013

Principal Officer

Ms. Allison Anne Wysota

Main Address

241 Coram Ave.

Shelton, CT 06484 USA

Keywords

Bereavement, Grief support, peer support, grief education, loss education, grief support services,

EIN

46-2047680

 Number

5761505809

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Family Services (P40)

Single Organization Support (O11)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Children are often left to grieve alone and in isolation. This often leads to children developing negative coping strategies to help them deal with the painful emotions tied to the death of a loved one. With the rise of gun related deaths and the opioid epidemic, child are dealing with an out-of-oder death more than ever. Childhood bereavement is not going away, but we can make it as comforting and supportive of a journey as possible. At Adam's House children get their voices heard and their feelings are often validated by their peers going through the same crisis. They draw strength from their peers and gain new strategies for dealing with their loss. Ultimately, our goal is to empower our program participants to cope with their loss so they may live their lives to the fullest.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Helping Hearts Heal Program

Helping Hearts Heal

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The Adam’s House mission is to provide grief education and peer support to bereaved children in Connecticut, at no-cost to their families. Each child deserves a supportive and understanding community to learn and explore their feelings of loss. The purpose of Adam’s House is to be a partner in their healing process. As a result, Adam’s House is helping empower children and their families after their loss to live their lives to the fullest, to have the tools and resources to continue along the grief journey and be prepared to take on grief’s challenges, and to build a compassionate, confident, and strong generation of good grievers.

Adam’s House operates a no-cost, 8-week peer-support program for children ages 5-18 and their family/caregivers, who have experienced the death of a loved one. Through the weekly, curriculum-based sessions, children have the opportunity to draw support from their peers and gain new strategies for dealing with loss. Each week participants build resiliency, confidence, and self-esteem through age-appropriate activities, arts and crafts, play, and conversation. 1 in 16 children in Connecticut with lose a parent or sibling by the age of 18. Support for child bereavement is critical for healthy development. By having a caring community, peer-support, coping skills, and a stable caregiver, children are less likely to encounter negative behaviors as a result of grief, included but not limited to substance abuse, anxiety and depression and maladaptive coping.

Adam’s House operates on a lean operating staff with only three part time positions, who manage our community outreach and partnerships—making the program aware to families in need, development—ensuring that our program remains no-cost thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors and foundation and grant support, and the program and families—taking grieving families every step of the way through Adam’s House from initial calls to graduation. We have a beautiful home located in Shelton, CT—easy to get to from major highways, as well as local communities—that lets children feel as if they are going over to a friend’s house and not a doctor, because these children are sad, not sick. Most importantly, our organization manages more than 50 volunteers who serve as FIGS or Friends in Grieve, who after receiving training lead our peer-support groups.

Adam’s House measures success of it’s operation both qualitatively and quantitatively. We start by measuring the numbers: how many children, how many families, and how many programs do we see and operate within a year. We specifically choose to manage only one program at a time to ensure that the families receive the full attention of Adam’s House while on their grief journey, and we keep peer groups small (ideally 5-7 children) to ensure trust, relationship building, and the opportunity for everyone to speak and engage. As we continue to grow our organization we look to grow the number of programs we operate in a year to 4—one each season. More importantly than number, we measure our success in the outcomes and outlooks of our participants. At the start of every program. families complete a survey and activity that opens a window into their emotional state how they feel, what they think, etc. and then that same activity/survey takes place at the conclusion of the 8-week program. This shows Adam’s House the transformation in our program participants.

As of June 2019, Adam’s House has supported 54 children, 38 adults, and 31 families, we have successfully run four programs across three years, and we continue to grow our numbers. The families who walk through our doors leave after 8-weeks feeling like a strong family unit once again, they feel they are better parents to their children, and the kids feel happier, stronger, braver, and more confident, according to program surveys. In addition, as needs for our community shift and we become aware, Adam’s House adds support where able. For instance, we have recently added a widows group for adults to continue growing in their grief journey and get back to being social after loss.

External Reviews

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Financials

Adam's House

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity